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A Yogi’s Guide to the Yamas and Niyamas

Happiness | Lifestyle

If you've been practicing yoga for a while, you have no doubt heard the words 'yamas' and 'niyamas' being uttered in yoga class. So what exactly are they? What do they have to do with how you practice yoga?

To help you out, we've compiled all the information and tips we have on how you can live yoga on and off the mat with the guidance of these two limbs of yoga. Learn about their roots and how you can apply them in daily life, as a student and teacher, as you continue on your yoga journey.

Yama: The 1st Limb of Yoga Explained

what is yama the 1st limb of yoga explained

Yamas are the moral, ethical and spiritual guidelines of a person aspiring to reach balance, health, and well-being leading to spiritual development. There are five different characteristics, and these can be observed in our actions, words and thoughts. They help us to purify our nature and form a healthier and happier society. Read more here…

Niyama: The 2nd Limb of Yoga Explained

Niyama - The 2nd Limb of Yoga Explained

Niyama means ‘rule’ or ‘laws’ and are suggestions Pantajali provides for internal awareness and observance. They’re suggestions on how we can relate to ourselves. Five branches extend from the Niyama limb that Pantajali believes will create a healthy internal environment. Read more here…

Yoga’s Golden Rules – PART 1: Yamas


As big a cornerstone as asana (perhaps more so, if we are being honest!), the yamas and niyamas are precepts which not only indicate behavioral adjustments that are required to truly practice yoga, but also reveal how we will show up when we are connected to our most compassionate selves through yoga. Read more…

Yoga’s Golden Rules – PART 2: Niyamas

Yoga’s Golden Rules - PART 2 Niyamas

More prescriptive than the introspective Yamas, Niyamas serve as codes of ethics or practical guidelines to achieve yoga. Important to remember, yoga is both a practice and a state. We incorporate the practice of the niyamas as we practice yoga; at the same time, a consistent relationship with the niyamas helps us achieve yoga. Read more here…

The Yoga of Relationships – Part One: The Yama

The Yoga of Relationships - Part One The Yama

The yamas are concerned with how we use our energy in our relationships, offering yogis a solid ethical foundation. Following the golden rule of treating others as we’d like to be treated, the yama offer us a standard of integrity and a way to practice yoga off our yoga mats. Read more here…

The Yoga of Relationships Part Two: The Niyama

The Yoga of Relationships Part Two The Niyama

The niyamas are concerned with how we use our energy in our relationships towards ourselves, offering us practical guidelines for becoming the best version of ourselves. The Yoga Sutra identify the five niyamas as: Saucha – Cleanliness, Santosa – Contentment, Tapas – Austerity, Svadhayaya – Self-Study, and Isvara Pranidhana – Devotion to God. Read more here…

The Yamas of Private Yoga Teaching

The Yamas of Private Yoga

The yamas can serve as an appropriate map to navigate the practice of teaching private yoga and creating a sustainable private yoga teacher practice. With the help of the yamas, we have a moral, practical guide for our private yoga teaching. Read more here…

The Niyamas of Private Yoga Teaching

The Niyamas of Private Yoga Teaching

Like the yamas, we can apply the lessons and guidelines of the niyamas to both our teachings and business practices as private yoga teachers. Specifically, we can use the intentions behind each niyama as a starting point for outlining our interpretation and also as a road map to navigate meaningful private yoga lessons and sound business practices. Read more here…

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